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Subject:Re: Use of A and AN From:Paul Inbar <inbar -at- ELRON -dot- NET> Date:Wed, 3 Mar 1999 15:52:23 +0200
Good Evening, Lynda (it's evening here),
Go by whether the acronym is pronounced as a word or a series of letters. If as
a word it would get "a" use "a". If the word would get "an" use "an". If as a
series of letters, the name of the first letter would get "a", use "a", "an" if
NBC (pronounced as a series of letters "en bee cee"): an NBC employee ("an"
because the name of the letter "en" gets "an" ) (I saw an "N" in the alphabet)
NATO (pronounced as a word): a NATO employee: "a" because a word starting with
"n" (the sound n) gets "a".
There are rules about vowels and consonants, but there are a lot of regular
exceptions, and I don't think the solution needs such detail.
Anyway, hope this is helpful
Just a question: if you are 5, why couldn't you come to a decision? Someone
LYNDA KENNEDY wrote:
> Good morning,
> In our office we have 5 technical writers that are split on the use of A
> and AN prior to accronyms. Is there a rule of thumb regarding the use of
> either before accronyms? The argument is to use AN if the accronym
> begins with a vowel or a soft constant, such as N.
> Any ideas?